Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on Saturday presented Biju Patnaik Sports Award to outstanding sportspersons and coaches on the occasion of National Sports Day celebrated through video conferencing.
Para-athlete Jayanti Behera and hockey player Deep Grace Ekka received Biju Patnaik Sports Award for outstanding performance in sports and games. Both of them received two lakh rupees cash award each.
Similarly, Biju Patnaik Bravery Award was received by Purnima Giri and Sabita Giri and a cash award of rupees one lakh each, medal and citation. Biju Patnaik Sports Award for excellence in coaching went to Satya Ranjan Patnaik. He received a cash award of rupees one lakh.
Siba Prasad Das received a cash award of rupees 32,50,000 for coaching to sportspersons with disability. Among others, Padmini Rout, Hupi Majhi, Rajashree Mohapatra, Manisha Merel, Pratyasha Ray also received cash awards.
Speaking on the occasion, Patnaik congratulated the award winners and spoke about the initiatives of the state for making Odisha a global centre of sports.
“Today we are celebrating National Sports Day on the birth anniversary of Indian Hockey legend Dhyan Chand. I pay my sincere tributes to the wizard of Indian hockey on this occasion, he said.
My greetings to all the Sportspersons and sports lovers across the State on this great occasion. I congratulate all the award winners on this occasion. They have displayed excellent talent and hard work and brought laurels to the State and country. The passion, drive and determination of these sportspersons are commendable and I wish them more glory in the times ahead,” the Chief Minister added.
Patnaik further congratulated the bravery award winners girls “for showing such exceptional courage and saving many lives”.
“They are indeed a shining example of selfless service and an inspiration for the youth. Sport is a symbol of youth power. It demonstrates energy, power, dynamism, team spirit and above all, an irrepressible desire for winning,” he said.
“A society that loves sport develops a great potential for success in every other field. Our legendary leader Biju Babu himself was a great sportsperson and promoted sports all along his life. We are now in the process of realising his dreams of making Odisha a buzzing centre of sports,” Patnaik added.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera said that the objective of the state is to become the best in sports and games. Therefore, we are encouraging young talents of the state into sports and games.